Asda boosts online offering with 100 new wines 

Asda is boosting its online wine shop with the addition of nearly 100 new and fine wines, with around 75% of them coming from France.

Philippa Carr MW

Philippa Carr MW

Wine Selection Manager Philippa Carr MW said the move came in response to the demographic of the online customers, who was more engaged and more likely to buy from a classic selection. In May, senior buying Ed Ashley told the drinks business that while the retailer under-traded in French wines, the country over-performed online and it was keen to redress the balance. .

The new fine wines range in price form £9-£40 and include a Chateau Olivier Pessac Leognan Grand Cru Classe 2003 (RRP: £40), Clos St VIncent 2012 St Emilion Grand Cru (RRP: £15),  Chateau Mezain 2014 Bordeaux Sauvignon Blanc (RRP £9), Quinson Brouilly 2014 (RRP £9).

Sales of French wines online were almost twice those of its nearest competitor, according to data from The Wilson Drinks Report. It found that consumers were likely to pay more for French wine, with the average price of a bottle of French wine hitting £8.59 compared to £6.89 for an average bottle (MAT 29 June 2014, according to data supplied to WDR).

In May, the retailer upped its focus on lesser known French wines in store as part of the biggest shake-up of the wine range in five years. It introduced around 200 new wines, but reduced the range by around 8% overall to strip out duplication and make it simpler for consumers. As part of the move it rolled out a new 17-strong Wine Atlas range to tempt consumers to be try less predictable and indigenous grape varieties and areas, including lesser-known French wines from the South of the country.

“What France is about is classic, benchmark, point of difference and many people do that very well, but France has lots of choice and we wanted to focus on lesser known regions,” Ashley said at the time.

It also relaunched its own label Extra Special range with 8 new lines, and merged its existing Wine Selection tier into the Winemakers Choice range.

This week Carr said the range had been well received. It has also refreshed the in-store range for Christmas, adding a Chateauneuf du Pape  Grande Reserve 2013 magnum (RRP £27.97), a Winemakers Choice Chianti and a selection of Spanish and Italian red wines.

Asda’a online wine shop was launched with 500 wines in October 2013, with the intention to increase this to 800 by the middle of 2014. Around 30% as own label wines. Since then online sales had doubled, Ashley said, and wine accounted for around 8% of online sales in May – with around 6% sold through the grocery site and 2% through the wine shop. In February it extended the wine offer, soft-launching a wedding wine ordering service.

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